NEW YORK, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced today that Hannah, a Girl Scout from Chantilly, Va., is the winner of its contest to create a public service announcement (PSA) that encourages girls to show what they would do to stop bullying.
"I've been bullied before, and I know the best way to get through it is with the help of your friends," said Hannah, 15, who is a member of Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital. "I know that everyone is fighting for some picture-perfect world with no bullies. There's always going to be people who don't like you and people trying to keep you down. My friends and I made this video so we can show girls that when you're exclusive and mean, you don't make any friends, you just make enemies. But when you have friends on your side, you can stand up to anything because you never stand alone."
The contest, known as "It Doesn't Have to Be Like This…," invited girls across the country to make PSAs to address the various ways girls bully, such as gossiping, forming cliques, and circulating rumors, including those spread through text messages and social media. Girls submitted videos, slide shows, and other material that drew more than 30,200 votes. The contest is part of the Girl Scouts Speak Out series, in which GSUSA asks girls to submit PSAs on key national or global issues. The program helps girls to understand the elements of leadership and their own ability to influence their future. The winner has her submission made into a professional PSA. To view submissions by the finalists, go to the Girl Scouts Speak Out website at http://speakout.girlscouts.org/finalists/.
Hannah's public service announcement, titled "Cliques," seeks to show how hurtful gossip and exclusion can be, and how the power of girls standing up for other girls can stop such behavior. In the video, Hannah, along with a group of Girl Scouts from Chantilly—including Caroline, Alexa, Becca, Bella, Lana, Lindsey, Maggie, Megan, Mona, Pallavi, and Veronica—imagine a world where girls choose friendship over bullying.
There were five finalists, each with over 5,000 votes, including two honorable mentions: "Stop the Click" from a group of Girl Scouts in Illinois, and "Get R.E.A.L." from a group of Girl Scouts in Tallahassee, Fla. The other two finalists were: "Everybody is Somebody!!!" by Trish and a Brownie troop in Kansas, and "How Much Power Does a Secret Hold?" by a Girl Scout troop in Tampa, Fla.
"Girls have a lot to say about what they can do to help prevent bullying," says Eileen Doyle, Vice President for Program at GSUSA. "When you give them the right platform, which is what we want to do in Girl Scouts Speak Out, they have ideas on how they can be leaders to solve problems, and bullying is an important one. The fact that the PSAs which the girls made were shared with over 30,000 other girls demonstrates what a girl-led movement can do to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts Speak Out covers a range of issues that affect our girls and communities. We look forward to working with Hannah to support her message with a professionally-made PSA."
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U or visit www.girlscouts.org.
SOURCE Girl Scouts of the USA